Sunday, 30 August 2015

Kip Tyler..........Jungle Flippin' & Rumblin'.

Long before 'Expresso Bongo' !
 Most of you should be familiar with the tunes, 'Jungle Hop' (as covered by The Cramps on Psychedelic Jungle) and the moody classic 'She's My Witch' (as covered by dozens of bands including Tav Falco & The Fuzztones) by Kip Tyler & The Flips and Kip's story is a bit of a disaster in terms of success, as having a great image, the first black clad rocker to take to the stage on a motorbike (long before Gene Vincent and Vince Taylor), record labels that believed in him and were  keen to promote his releases, voice-overs in the movies for actors that couldn't sing, as well as having Phil Spector as his pianist and Sandy Nelson as his drummer at various points, not forgetting Kim Fowley as his roadie ! But it appears that the fates were against him and ultimately he'd fade into the background while the various members of his band would go onto greater things...his luck failing as far as losing his entire band in 1958 to Duane Eddy where they became 'The Rebels' !
Repro available here :
Kip Tyler passed away almost 10 years ago in 1996 and had always preferred not to talk about his rock 'n' roll years and I don't suppose you can blame the man for that, a case of so near yet so far...Bruce Johnston, the bass player with The Beach Boys from 1966 onwards had featured among the shifting members of The Flips as did various other musicians from 1956 onwards who eventually graced line-ups for 'Eddie Cochrane', 50's popsters 'The Teddy Bears' and another surf duo 'Bruce & Terry'. Even though musical success kind of escaped him, plenty of opportunities came his way, being an in demand live performer into the mid-60/s (He once appeared as the only white act on a coloured bill which included both Laverna Baker and Richard Berry). He also produced bands for various Californian labels including 'Gyro' for which he incidently released the pretty cool instro 'On The Flip' as well as the pretty lamentable middle of the road track 'Girl from Ipanema' when he attempted relaunching himself as a bit of a popster before finally dropping the music biz entirely in 1965. 

German CD release from 2003.
Kip's better known tracks such as 'Wail Man Wail', 'Rumble Rock', 'She's My Witch' and 'Jungle Hop' have appeared on many comps over the years including the essential 'Born Bad' series but to my knowledge there has never been an album compiling his work on vinyl....there was however a 27 track CD release back in 2003 on a German label called 'Hydra' which is well worth hunting down, be warned as it also contains a few dodgy tracks.

It should also be noted that the 'Kip Tyler' who was doing the rounds in many of the seedier skin flicks of the 90's is not the same guy !

Here's the shameless plug folks, check out the website for the goodies !  Lots of new stuff up there for you to get acquainted with :

Take it easy and Stay Sick !

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